December 16, 2010
@ The Independent
Better than: Any other situation involving lichens, barn owls, and sacred syllables.
It was dark at the Independent last night. The performers sent forth their communal hypnoses in low light, the audience swayed along in relative blackness, and when the overheads came on between sets everyone scattered just perceptibly, like dazed, sharply dressed cockroaches.
I'm not pointing this out just to excuse the lamentable quality of my photos; the dark suited each act in its own way. Headliners Om — once just the rhythm section of San Jose stoner-metal pioneers Sleep, these days a duo with a different drummer, last night joined by otherworldly sound-machine Robert A.A. Lowe, and, briefly, a lady flautist — played a litany of rumbling menace under a shifting stream of hot pastels, a stick of incense burning slowly down on singer Al Cisneros's mic stand.